Fakenham bar and restaurant delayed opening to avoid risk as staff 'pinged'

The Red Lion Lounge is being managed by Teresa Haughey, who has recently overseen the reopening of the Ostrich Inn.

Manager of The Red Lion Lounge, Teresa Haughey, confirmed they had to delay their opening after staff were pinged and forced to isolate. - Credit: Aaron McMillan

Fakenham’s new restaurant and bar is finally preparing to launch after its grand opening was postponed by 'pings' to some of its staff.

The Red Lion Lounge, a contemporary wine, cocktail lounge and restaurant offering tastings from around the world, was due to open on Market Place at the site of the Gallery Bistro on August 7.

However, the bar has confirmed that five of its staff members were ‘pinged’ by the NHS app and had to isolate, shifting the opening.

This meant punters were left disappointed when they turned up on Saturday night to enjoy the new bar which is being managed by the same team who oversaw the resurrection of the Ostrich Inn, in South Creake.

General Manager for the Red Lion Lounge, Teresa Haughey said: "There were five staff members who isolated for eight days from Monday of last week. This was the message through NHS and was completed Tuesday, August 10.

The Red Lion Lounge is being managed by Teresa Haughey, who has recently overseen the reopening of the Ostrich Inn.

Manager of The Red Lion Lounge, Teresa Haughey, confirmed they had to delay their opening after staff were pinged and forced to isolate. - Credit: Aaron McMillan


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“The reason for postponing the opening was not to put anyone at risk.

“We were slightly disappointed, but our first thought was to our staff and customers, health and safety will always be our number one priority.

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“All staff were tested, even though they had not been in contact. As a business, we will continue to PCR test the staff members going forward.

“All staff are now out of isolation and we could not be more excited to open the doors tomorrow (August 12)."

The Red Lion Lounge in Fakenham is taking shape.

The Red Lion Lounge in Fakenham. - Credit: Aaron McMillan

The lounge had even held test events as its prepared to open to the general public. Ms Haughey confirmed the three staff members she had for the test events were not in contact with the staff members who were isolating.

She also confirmed what the menu will look like when its open, with it taking inspiration from the tastes of Italy. The food will feature traditional Italian dishes such as arancini, and sorbet, as well as the lounge's own twists.

The bar is now set to open to the public on Thursday, August 12, with the upstairs restaurant following suit on Wednesday, August 25.

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